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Importing Thunderbird e-mail on a new computer/profile

Posted on 2011-09-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a user that was using Thunderbird on a PC for her e-mail.  She got a new computer, so I installed Thunderbird on that one and set up a new profile.  She has been using it for a few weeks and now wants her old e-mails back.  I do have her old Thunderbird profile saved on the server, but all the articles I have read indicate you have to copy the old Thunderbird profile files to the new profile manually.  That would work, BUT, this will overwrite her present mailbox which has two weeks of new e-mail in it.  Isn't there a way to just import her old messages into the current profile?  You'd think if crazy Microsoft had this ability with Outlook, Thunderbird would have a better one, but it doesn't seem to have one at all.
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Question by:Steve Bantz
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Garry Glendown earned 50 total points
ID: 36550475
From the description, I take it the mail is retrieved via POP3, not IMAP, with mails stored on the user machine.
If so, you could always take all the single mails stored in the mail folder(s), join them in a single mbox file, and put the resulting file back on the server, either by feeding it back into the MTA, or maybe just in the file system (if it has all the user mails in a single file).

On the client side, it is also possible to import folders from one profile into another, as documented on the Mozilla site: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders

Also, importing one complete profile to another is also documented: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Transferring_data_to_a_new_profile_-_Thunderbird

Compared to many Windows applications, Thunderbird is pretty easy to get to import old information - from the quick browse of those two docs, I would expect it to be rather painless to follow and get running ...
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